Sierra Bancorp in Porterville, Calif., said Thursday that it would raise $22 million in capital through several institutional investors.

In a separate filing, the $1.3 billion-asset bank holding company also announced a boost in third- quarter earnings.

In the capital-raising effort, the institutional investors have agreed to buy 2.3 million shares of Sierra's common stock at $10 a share.

Sierra said it will use the capital for "general corporate purposes." That includes an investment into its banking subsidiary, Bank of the Sierra.

The company expects to close the offer by Oct. 19.

Sierra also said it would use the capital to fund asset growth and finance potential bank acquisitions.

Bank of the Sierra was well capitalized as of June 30, with a total risk-based capital ratio of 16.83%.

Its net income rose 736.8% year over year in the third quarter, to $887,000.

Sierra, however, said it was "effectively a break-even quarter" because of some tax credits and a $2.6 million gain on investments.

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